This is Part 2 of SB Nation NBA Reacts’ survey ending on Mar. 16. For Part one, click on the link below:
In this part, we will go to our quasi-national questions: what should be each team’s priorities at the trade deadline, which is on Thursday, Mar. 25?
Most Wizards fans believe that they should be sellers at the deadline
Washington was 14-24 on Mar. 16 when the survey was completed and the results were pretty clear. Sixty percent believe that they should be looking to be sellers at the deadline.
The reasons are pretty obvious. This team is headed for the lottery barring another unexpected long winning streak. And as sellers, that likely means that a significant proportion of Wizards should trade Bradley Beal. Barring something unexpected happening between Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET writing this and the time this piece publishes, we know that the Wizards are not trading him, even though the team is apparently firmly a victim of the “sunk cost fallacy.”
In other more European terms, Tommy Sheppard may very well be that one trader in Amsterdam who firmly believes that a certain tulip bulb will eventually bloom the Wizards to three straight NBA championships in 1638. Beal is another trader who’s still selling that same bulb for a billion Dutch guilders for that matter. After all, he has reiterated that his loyalty to D.C.
Most other teams and fans however know that “Dutch” tulips are a commodity however (from what is now Turkey by the way!). And the Netherlands has moved on to the Euro, damn it!
But I digress....
Bottom line: The Wizards are losing with Beal and will keep losing without him in the short term if he’s traded. But without him, they could have some younger players that would help them in the longer term, preferably with a new head coach ... and perhaps with a new front office. I’m not going to opine more on the subject, but yeah, it’s clear why the Wizards should be sellers.
Wizards fans believe a defensive specialist is their biggest need
The Wizards have been one of the NBA’s worst defensive teams in recent years. Last season, they had the worst defensive rating leaguewide until the end of the season and they are 27th in that same stat this season. In terms of raw points given up per game, Washington is dead last, letting opponents score 120 points per game.
Can we get a male version of Alysha Clark on the NBA team in the nation’s capital STAT, A-N-Y-O-N-E!?!?!?!?!?!
While 44 percent of fans believe that Washington needs a defensive specialist the most, 36 percent believe Washington needs a big man/post. Twenty percent believe Washington’s need is a wing player. No one said that a ball handler or shooter was their biggest need.
That said, if the Wizards trade Bradley Beal away, that could influence some people’s opinions, though no question was asked.
Fans believe Troy Brown is the Wizards player most likely to go at the trade deadline
Based on the trade rumors in the last couple weeks, it is no surprise that the Wizards may very well get Troy Brown traded, or give him a “get out of jail for free card,” depending on how you view the team’s situation. This survey closed before it was known that Davis Bertans was also on the trade block, so perhaps the results may have been skewed a little differently if Quinton Mayo’s report came out sooner.
Regardless, though most Wizards fans believe that the team should be sellers at the deadline, they also don’t think Bradley Beal will be traded. In fact, no one in the survey believed that he, rookie Deni Avdija or Moritz Wagner (who is likely on the trade block) will be sent to another team by this Thursday.
Since the Wizards fanbase is among the larger groups in this survey (which has been verified to me by the higher-ups), it also gives me this anecdotal insight, though it’s biased: Wizards fans on SB Nation Reacts are very informed and as a group, we are more vocal than most of the NBA’s other teams!
If you haven’t signed up for SB Nation NBA Reacts (I have), do so here: